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  1. Critical Notice of Colin Klein's What The Body Commands: The Imperative Theory of Pain (MIT 2015) [Book Review]. [REVIEW]Aydede Murat - manuscript
    This is a slightly more polished version of a presentation I wrote for the Author-Meets-Critics session on Colin's book at the Eastern APA session on Jan 4, 2017, in Baltimore. I’ve decided to post this commentary online pretty much as is -- I am afraid I don't have time to prepare a version suitable for publication. I hope the reader will find it helpful. At any rate, please treat this piece as a rough draft originally intended to be delivered to (...)
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  2. The Philosophy of Pain - Introduction.David Bain, Jennifer Corns & Michael Brady - forthcoming - In David Bain, Jennifer Corns & Michael Brady (eds.), The Philosophy of Pain. London: Routledge.
    Over recent decades, pain has received increasing attention as – with ever greater sophistication and rigour – theorists have tried to answer the deep and difficult questions it poses. What is pain’s nature? What is its point? In what sense is it bad? The papers collected in this volume are a contribution to that effort ...
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  3. Pain and Incorrigibility.Peter Langland-Hassan - forthcoming - In J. Corns (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain. Routledge.
    This chapter (from Routledge's forthcoming handbook on the philosophy of pain) considers the question of whether people are always correct when they judge themselves to be in pain, or not in pain. While I don't show sympathy for traditional routes to the conclusion that people are "incorrigible" in their pain judgments, I explore--and perhaps even advocate--a different route to such incorrigibility. On this low road to incorrigibility, a sensory state's being judged unpleasant is what makes it a pain (or not).
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  4. Imperative Transparency.Manolo Martínez - forthcoming - Mind.
    I respond to an objection recently formulated by Barlassina and Hayward against first-order imperativism about pain, according to which it cannot account for the self-directed motivational force of pain. I am going to agree with them: it cannot. This is because pain does not have self-directed motivational force. I will argue that the alternative view (that pain is about dealing with extramental, bodily threats; not about dealing with itself) makes better sense of introspection, and of empirical research on pain avoidance. (...)
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  5. Valence, Bodily (Dis)Pleasures and Emotions.Fabrice Teroni - forthcoming - In Michael S. Brady, David Bain & Jennifer Corns (eds.), Philosophy of Suffering. New York: Routledge. pp. 103-122.
    Bodily (dis)pleasures and emotions share the striking property of being valenced, i.e. they are positive or negative. What is valence? How do bodily (dis)pleasures and emotions relate to one another? This chapter assesses the prospects of two popular theses regarding the relation between bodily (dis)pleasures and emotions in light of what we can reasonably think about valence. According to the first thesis, the valence of bodily (dis)pleasures is explanatory prior vis-à-vis the valence of emotions. According to the second, emotions contain (...)
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  6. Valence: A Reflection.Luca Barlassina - 2021 - Emotion Researcher: ISRE's Sourcebook for Research on Emotion and Affect (C. Todd and E. Wall Eds.).
    This article gives a short presentation of reflexive imperativism, the intentionalist theory of valence I developed with Max Khan Hayward. The theory says that mental states have valence in virtue of having reflexive imperative content. More precisely, mental states have positive valence (i.e., feel good) in virtue of issuing the command "More of me!", and they have negative valence (i.e., feel bad) in virtue of issuing the command "Less of me!" The article summarises the main arguments in favour of reflexive (...)
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  7. Illusions of Affection: A Hyper-Illusory Account of Normative Valence.Mihailis Diamantis - 2021 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (5-6):6-29.
    This article challenges the orthodox position that some smells are pleasantly fragrant and some tactile sensations are painful. It proposes that the affective components of our experiences are a kind of illusion. Under this alternative picture, experiences that seem to have positive or negative affect never actually do. Rather, the affective component is hyper-illusory, a second-order misrepresentation of the way things actually seem to us. While perceptual hyperillusions have elicited scepticism in other contexts, affective hyperillusions can withstand common critiques. Focusing (...)
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  8. How to Locate Pain in Mandarin: Reply to Liu and Klein.Tsung-Hsing Ho - 2021 - National Taiwan University Philosophical Review 61:75-80.
    Some philosophers argue that pain is an object located in bodily parts because the locative form of pain report is permissible in English. To examine this argument, Liu and Klein recently argue that the linguistic argument cannot work because the locative form is impermissible in Mandarin. They are wrong, however. I demonstrate that the locative form in Mandarin is not only permissible but also common.
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  9. What is a Pain in a Body Part?Murat Aydede - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):143–158.
    The IASP definition of 'pain' defines pain as a subjective experience. The Note accompanying the definition emphasizes that as such pains are not to be identified with objective conditions of body parts (such as actual or potential tissue damage). Nevertheless, it goes on to state that a pain "is unquestionably a sensation in a part or parts of the body, but it is also always unpleasant and therefore also an emotional experience." This generates a puzzle that philosophers have been well (...)
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  10. Pain Experiences and Their Link to Action: Challenging Imperative Theories.Sabrina Coninx - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):104-126.
    According to pure imperativism, pain experiences are experiences of a specific phenomenal type that are entirely constituted by imperative content. As their primary argument, proponents of imperativism rely on the biological role that pain experiences fulfill, namely, the motivation of actions whose execution ensures the normal functioning of the body. In the paper, I investigate which specific types of action are of relevance for an imperative interpretation and how close their link to pain experiences actually is. I argue that, although (...)
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  11. Suffering Pains.Olivier Massin - 2020 - In Jennifer Corns & Michael S. Brady David Bain (ed.), Philosophy of Suffering: Metaphysics, Value and Normativity. London: Routledge. pp. 76-100.
    The paper aims at clarifying the distinctions and relations between pain and suffering. Three negative theses are defended: 1. Pain and suffering are not identical. 2. Pain is not a species of suffering, nor is suffering a species of pain, nor are pain and suffering of a common (proximate) genus. 3. Suffering cannot be defined as the perception of a pain’s badness, nor can pain be defined as a suffered bodily sensation. Three positive theses are endorsed: 4. Pain and suffering (...)
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  12. Does the IASP Definition of Pain Need Updating?Murat Aydede - 2019 - PAIN Reports 4 (5 - e777):1-7.
    The current IASP definition of pain has come under renewed criticisms recently. There is a new momentum for its revision as reflected by the fact that IASP has now a Presidential Task Force dedicated to look into whether there is enough warrant to update the definition. I critically review all the major criticisms of the current definition in detail, and raise new difficulties rarely discussed before. I show that none of the major criticisms has enough warrant to force us to (...)
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  13. Is the Experience of Pain Transparent? Introspecting Phenomenal Qualities.Murat Aydede - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):677-708.
    I distinguish between two claims of transparency of experiences. One claim is weaker and supported by phenomenological evidence. This I call the transparency datum. Introspection of standard perceptual experiences as well as bodily sensations is consistent with, indeed supported by, the transparency datum. I formulate a stronger transparency thesis that is entailed by representationalism about experiential phenomenology. I point out some empirical consequences of strong transparency in the context of representationalism. I argue that pain experiences, as well as some other (...)
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  14. Why Take Painkillers?David Bain - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):462-490.
    Accounts of the nature of unpleasant pain have proliferated over the past decade, but there has been little systematic investigation of which of them can accommodate its badness. This paper is such a study. In its sights are two targets: those who deny the non-instrumental disvalue of pain's unpleasantness; and those who allow it but deny that it can be accommodated by the view—advanced by me and others—that unpleasant pains are interoceptive experiences with evaluative content. Against the former, I argue (...)
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  15. Loopy Regulations: The Motivational Profile of Affective Phenomenology.Luca Barlassina & Max Khan Hayward - 2019 - Philosophical Topics 47 (2):233-261.
    Affective experiences such as pains, pleasures, and emotions have affective phenomenology: they feel pleasant. This type of phenomenology has a loopy regulatory profile: it often motivates us to act a certain way, and these actions typically end up regulating our affective experiences back. For example, the pleasure you get by tasting your morning coffee motivates you to drink more of it, and this in turn results in you obtaining another pleasant gustatory experience. In this article, we argue that reflexive imperativism (...)
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  16. More of Me! Less of Me!: Reflexive Imperativism About Affective Phenomenal Character.Luca Barlassina & Max Khan Hayward - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1013-1044.
    Experiences like pains, pleasures, and emotions have affective phenomenal character: they feel pleasant or unpleasant. Imperativism proposes to explain affective phenomenal character by appeal to imperative content, a kind of intentional content that directs rather than describes. We argue that imperativism is on the right track, but has been developed in the wrong way. There are two varieties of imperativism on the market: first-order and higher-order. We show that neither is successful, and offer in their place a new theory: reflexive (...)
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  17. The Meaning of Pain Expressions and Pain Communication.Emma Borg, Tim Salomons & Nat Hansen - 2019 - In Simon van Rysewyk (ed.), Meanings of Pain. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 261-282.
    Both patients and clinicians frequently report problems around communicating and assessing pain. Patients express dissatisfaction with their doctors and doctors often find exchanges with chronic pain patients difficult and frustrating. This chapter thus asks how we could improve pain communication and thereby enhance outcomes for chronic pain patients. We argue that improving matters will require a better appreciation of the complex meaning of pain terms and of the variability and flexibility in how individuals think about pain. We start by examining (...)
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  18. On The Content and Character of Pain Experience.Richard Gray - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):47-68.
    Tracking representationalism explains the negative affective character of pain, and its capacity to motivate action, by reference to the representation of the badness for us of bodily damage. I argue that there is a more fitting instantiation of the tracking relation – the badness for us of extremely intense stimuli – and use this to motivate a non-reductive approach to the negative affective character of pain. The view of pain proposed here is supported by consideration of three related topics: the (...)
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  19. Can Evaluativism About Unpleasant Pains Meet the Normative Condition?Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (7).
    This paper assesses whether Evaluativism, as a view about the nature of unpleasant pains, can meet a specific normative condition. The normative condition says whatever candidate state is offered as an analysis of unpleasant pain should be intrinsically phenomenally bad for its subject to be in. I first articulate a method reflecting this condition, called the normative contrast method, and then frame Evaluativism in detail. The view is then tested through this method. I show that Evaluativism can explain why cases (...)
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  20. Imperativism and Pain Intensity.Colin Klein & Manolo Martínez - 2018 - In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), Philosophy of Pain: Unpleasantness, Emotion, and Deviance. Routledge. pp. 13-26.
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  21. The Evolutionary Explanation: The Limits of the Desire Theories of Unpleasantness,.Abraham Sapien - 2018 - Contrastes: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 23 (3):121-140.
    Several theorists have defended that unpleasantness can be explained by appealing to (intrinsic, simultaneous, de re) desires for certain experiences not to be occurring. In a nutshell, experiences are unpleasant because we do not want them, and not vice versa. A common criticism for this approach takes the form of a Euthyphro dilemma. Even if there is a solution for this criticism, I argue that this type of approach is limited in two important ways. It cannot provide an explanation for: (...)
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  22. The Unpleasantness of Pain.Abraham Sapien - 2018 - Dissertation,
    In this thesis I provide an account of the unpleasantness of pain. In doing this, I shed light on the nature of pain and unpleasantness. I propose to understand the unpleasantness of pain based on the determinable-determinate distinction. Unpleasantness is a determinable phenomenal property of mental states that entails badness. I propose that an unpleasant pain experience has two phenomenal properties: i) the phenomenal property of being a pain, and ii) a phenomenal determinate property (u1, u2, u3, etc.) of the (...)
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  23. Pain: Perception or Introspection?Murat Aydede - 2017 - In Jennifer Corns (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain. Routledge.
    [Penultimate draft] I present the perceptualist/representationalist theories of pain in broad outline and critically examine them in light of a competing view according to which awareness of pain is essentially introspective. I end the essay with a positive sketch of a naturalistic proposal according to which pain experiences are intentional but not fully representational. This proposal makes sense of locating pains in body parts as well as taking pains as subjective experiences.
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  24. Evaluativist Accounts of Pain's Unpleasantness.David Bain - 2017 - In Jennifer Corns (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Pain. London: Routledge. pp. 40-50.
    Evaluativism is best thought of as a way of enriching a perceptual view of pain to account for pain’s unpleasantness or painfulness. Once it was common for philosophers to contrast pains with perceptual experiences (McGinn 1982; Rorty 1980). It was thought that perceptual experiences were intentional (or content-bearing, or about something), whereas pains were representationally blank. But today many of us reject this contrast. For us, your having a pain in your toe is a matter not of your sensing “pain-ly” (...)
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  25. What the Body Commands, by Colin Klein. [REVIEW]David Bain - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1):1-4.
    In various papers, Colin Klein has argued that pain experiences are commands. This monograph goes well beyond the papers, re-shaping his ‘imperativist’ view, setting it within a general account of ‘homeostatic sensations’, presenting new arguments, and criticising alternatives. Original, empirically informed, clear, and often persuasive, it is a lovely book.
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  26. Bad by Nature, An Axiological Theory of Pain.Olivier Massin - 2017 - In Jennifer Corns (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain. Routledge. pp. 321-333.
    This chapter defends an axiological theory of pain according to which pains are bodily episodes that are bad in some way. Section 1 introduces two standard assumptions about pain that the axiological theory constitutively rejects: (i) that pains are essentially tied to consciousness and (ii) that pains are not essentially tied to badness. Section 2 presents the axiological theory by contrast to these and provides a preliminary defense of it. Section 3 introduces the paradox of pain and argues that since (...)
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  27. Pain Signals Are Predominantly Imperative.Manolo Martínez & Colin Klein - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (2):283-298.
    Recent work on signaling has mostly focused on communication between organisms. The Lewis–Skyrms framework should be equally applicable to intra-organismic signaling. We present a Lewis–Skyrms signaling-game model of painful signaling, and use it to argue that the content of pain is predominantly imperative. We address several objections to the account, concluding that our model gives a productive framework within which to consider internal signaling.
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  28. Leibniz, Bayle and the Controversy on Sudden Change.Markku Roinila - 2016 - In Giovanni Scarafile & Leah Gruenpeter Gold (eds.), Paradoxes of Conflict. Springer. pp. 29-40.
    will give an overview of the fascinating communication between G. W. Leibniz and Pierre Bayle on pre-established harmony and sudden change in the soul which started from Bayle’s footnote H to the article “Rorarius” in his Dictionnaire historique et critique (1697) and ended in 1706 with Bayle’s death. I will compare the views presented in the communication to Leibniz’s reflections on the soul in his partly concurrent Nouveaux essais sur l’entendement humain (1704) and argue that many topics in the communication (...)
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  29. Placebo Effects and Informed Consent.Mark Alfano - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (10):3-12.
    The concepts of placebos and placebo effects refer to extremely diverse phenomena. I recommend dissolving the concepts of placebos and placebo effects into loosely related groups of specific mechanisms, including expectation-fulfillment, classical conditioning, and attentional-somatic feedback loops. If this approach is on the right track, it has three main implications for the ethics of informed consent. First, because of the expectation-fulfillment mechanism, the process of informing cannot be considered independently from the potential effects of treatment. Obtaining informed consent influences the (...)
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  30. Pain (Oxford Bibliographies Online).David Bain - 2015 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    Philosophers think of pain less and less as a paradigmatic instance of mentality, for which they seek a general account, and increasingly as a rich and fruitful topic in its own right. Pain raises specific questions: about mentality and consciousness certainly, but also about embodiment, affect, motivation, and value, to name but a few. The growth of philosophical interest in pain has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of pain science, which burgeoned in the 1960s. This is no accident: developments in (...)
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  31. When Pain Isn't Painful.David Bain - 2015 - The Philosophers' Magazine 3.
    Sometimes the philosophical armchair gets bumped by empirical facts. So it is when thinking about pain. For good or ill (good, actually, as we shall see) most of us are intimately acquainted with physical pain, the kind you feel when you stand on a nail or burn your hand. And, from the armchair, it can seem blindingly obvious that pain is essentially unpleasant. There are of course unpleasant experiences that aren’t pains – nausea or itches, for example – but surely (...)
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  32. Pains as Reasons.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2261-2274.
    Imperativism is the view that the phenomenal character of the affective component of pains, orgasms, and pleasant or unpleasant sensory experience depends on their imperative intentional content. In this paper I canvass an imperativist treatment of pains as reason-conferring states.
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  33. Pains That Don't Hurt.David Bain - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):305-320.
    Pain asymbolia is a rare condition caused by brain damage, usually in adulthood. Asymbolics feel pain but appear indifferent to it, and indifferent also to visual and verbal threats. How should we make sense of this? Nikola Grahek thinks asymbolics’ pains are abnormal, lacking a component that make normal pains unpleasant and motivating. Colin Klein thinks that what is abnormal is not asymbolics’ pains, but asymbolics: they have a psychological deficit making them unresponsive to unpleasant pain. I argue that an (...)
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  34. Pain, Pleasure, and Unpleasure.David Bain & Michael Brady - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):1-14.
    Compare your pain when immersing your hand in freezing water and your pleasure when you taste your favourite wine. The relationship seems obvious. Your pain experience is unpleasant, aversive, negative, and bad. Your experience of the wine is pleasant, attractive, positive, and good. Pain and pleasure are straightforwardly opposites. Or that, at any rate, can seem beyond doubt, and to leave little more to be said. But, in fact, it is not beyond doubt. And, true or false, it leaves a (...)
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  35. Pleasure and Its Contraries.Olivier Massin - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):15-40.
    What is the contrary of pleasure? “Pain” is one common answer. This paper argues that pleasure instead has two natural contraries: unpleasure and hedonic indifference. This view is defended by drawing attention to two often-neglected concepts: the formal relation of polar opposition and the psychological state of hedonic indifference. The existence of mixed feelings, it is argued, does not threaten the contrariety of pleasure and unpleasure.
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  36. Robot Pain.Simon van Rysewyk - 2014 - International Journal of Synthetic Emotions 4 (2):22-33.
    Functionalism of robot pain claims that what is definitive of robot pain is functional role, defined as the causal relations pain has to noxious stimuli, behavior and other subjective states. Here, I propose that the only way to theorize role-functionalism of robot pain is in terms of type-identity theory. I argue that what makes a state pain for a neuro-robot at a time is the functional role it has in the robot at the time, and this state is type identical (...)
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  37. What Makes Pains Unpleasant.David Bain - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):69-89.
    The unpleasantness of pain motivates action. Hence many philosophers have doubted that it can be accounted for purely in terms of pain’s possession of indicative representational content. Instead, they have explained it in terms of subjects’ inclinations to stop their pains, or in terms of pain’s imperative content. I claim that such “noncognitivist” accounts fail to accommodate unpleasant pain’s reason-giving force. What is needed, I argue, is a view on which pains are unpleasant, motivate, and provide reasons in virtue of (...)
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  38. Painful Reasons: Representationalism as a Theory of Pain.Brendan O'Sullivan & Robert Schroer - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):737-758.
    It is widely thought that functionalism and the qualia theory are better positioned to accommodate the ‘affective’ aspect of pain phenomenology than representationalism. In this paper, we attempt to overturn this opinion by raising problems for both functionalism and the qualia theory on this score. With regard to functionalism, we argue that it gets the order of explanation wrong: pain experience gives rise to the effects it does because it hurts, and not the other way around. With regard to the (...)
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  39. The Imperative View of Pain.David Bain - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):164-85.
    Pain, crucially, is unpleasant and motivational. It can be awful; and it drives us to action, e.g. to take our weight off a sprained ankle. But what is the relationship between pain and those two features? And in virtue of what does pain have them? Addressing these questions, Colin Klein and Richard J. Hall have recently developed the idea that pains are, at least partly, experiential commands—to stop placing your weight on your ankle, for example. In this paper, I reject (...)
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  40. Independence and Connections of Pain and Suffering.S. Benjamin Fink - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):46-66.
    Is a phenomenal pain a conscious primitive or composed of more primitive phenomenal states? Are pain experiences necessarily or only contingently unpleasant? Here, I sketch how to answer such questions concerning intra-phenomenal metaphysics using the example of pain and unpleasantness. Arguments for a symmetrical metaphysical independence of phenomenal pain and unpleasant affect are presented, rejecting a composite view like the IASP definition and dimensional views. The motivating intuition of these views is explained by common binding mechanisms in consciousness and characterized (...)
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  41. Pains and Sounds.Ivan V. Ivanov - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):143-163.
    I argue that an analogy between pains and sounds suggests a way to give an objective account of pain which fits well with a naïve perceptualist account of feeling pain. According to the proposed metaphysical account, pains are relational physical events with shared qualitative nature, each of which is constituted by tissue damage and the activation of nociceptors. I proceed to show that the metaphysical proposal is compatible with platitudes about pains being animate, private, and self-intimating states.
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  42. Pain: New Essays on Its Nature and the Methodology of Its Study, Edited by Murat Aydede. [REVIEW]David Bain - 2010 - Mind 119 (474):451-456.
    Our preoccupation with pain can seem an eccentricity of philosophers. But just a little reflection leads one into the thickets. When I see a pencil on my desk, I’m aware of a physical thing and its objective properties; but what am I aware of when I feel a pain in my toe? A pain, perhaps? Or my toe’s hurting? But what is the nature of such things? Are they physical? Are they objective? To avoid unexperienced pains, we might say they (...)
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  43. Pain: A Natural State Without a Nature? Dealing with the Ambiguity of „Pain“ in Science and Ethics.S. Benjamin Fink - 2010 - In Heather McKenzie, John Quintner & Gillian Bendelow (eds.), At the Edge of Being: The Aporia of Pain. Inter-Disciplinary Press.
    Can we find necessary and sufficient conditions for a mental state to be a pain state? That is, does pain have a nature? Or is the term ‘pain’ ambiguous? I argue here that our expression ‘pain’ lacks necessary use conditions if one considers a range of contexts. As use conditions constrain the reference class, I argue that ‘pain’ does not refer to a natural category, but binds together a bunch of loosely resembling phenomena. This leads to problems for scientific and (...)
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  44. McDowell and the Presentation of Pains.David Bain - 2009 - Philosophical Topics 37 (1):1-24.
    It can seem natural to say that, when in pain, we undergo experiences which present to us certain experience-dependent particulars, namely pains. As part of his wider approach to mind and world, John McDowell has elaborated an interesting but neglected version of this account of pain. Here I set out McDowell’s account at length, and place it in context. I argue that his subjectivist conception of the objects of pain experience is incompatible with his requirement that such experience be presentational, (...)
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  45. Pain, Dislike and Experience.Guy Kahane - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (3):327-336.
    It is widely held that it is only contingent that the sensation of pain is disliked, and that when pain is not disliked, it is not intrinsically bad. This conjunction of claims has often been taken to support a subjectivist view of pain’s badness on which pain is bad simply because it is the object of a negative attitude and not because of what it feels like. In this paper, I argue that accepting this conjunction of claims does not commit (...)
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  46. The Location of Pains.David Bain - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (2):171-205.
    Perceptualists say that having a pain in a body part consists in perceiving the part as instantiating some property. I argue that perceptualism makes better sense of the connections between pain location and the experiences undergone by people in pain than three alternative accounts that dispense with perception. Turning to fellow perceptualists, I also reject ways in which David Armstrong and Michael Tye understand and motivate perceptualism, and I propose an alternative interpretation, one that vitiates a pair of objections—due to (...)
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